Friday, May 7, 2010

Happy Children's Day!

Wednesday was one of very few national holidays in Korea: Children's Day!

Elementary and middle schools were out Wednesday-Friday. High school only gets off on Wednesday. Don't feel too sorry for me; they have midterms next week, so I get that off. yippee.

Anyways, for Children's day, I met my friend, Emily, in Yeosu. Yeosu is just a coastal city with lots of little islands scattered around it. It's famous for cliffs. There's also a running joke about the "2012 Yeosu Expo." In 2002, it was announced that Yeosu would hold the World Expo. Almost immediately after the announcement, they started promoting it. Hang in there, guys! Two more years!

Yeosu was holding a "Turtle Ship" festival.

This is a turtle ship. It's the "traditional Korean war boat." It kind of looks like a turtle. Hence the name.

Like all festivals in Korea, it sounds a lot cooler than it actually is. There were only two turtle boats (apparently the Turtle Ship day was Friday and Saturday...not Wednesday). One pictured above and another made out of aluminum cans. Womp womp.

But we got the idea.

Since the boats weren't ready, the festival had a lot of "traditional Korean culture" stuff. Kids could dress up in "traditional wedding clothes," make "traditional rice cakes," "traditional pottery" and a whole heap of other "traditional" stuff. (btw: the phrase "Traditional Korean..." is probably in the top-5 first English phrases learned)

Some girls in "traditional Korean wedding gowns" sitting inside a "traditional Korean wedding cart for women."

Yeosu is really rocky and cliff-like. So we walked around a tiny cliff-island. I'm standing in front of "Cave of Dragon" according to all of the signs. Dragon must have been one cool guy. ^^
It was a nice day, but I caught myself thinking a lot, "Jeeze, this would be 100 times better if these kids weren't here." :) Then I remembered that this is their day.

Thursday and Friday are parent's day, but I don't think my bros did anything special for my mom other than sleep more. Oh kids.

I leave for the Philippines tomorrow. Yay! Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. We only had Mother's day (May 8th) - no Parent's Day. Why? Because they figured that everyday was the Father's Day so they didn't need a special day for the fathers.

    Yes, the Children's Day... I don't remember what special things we did and I don't even remember if we had the day off from school. I vaguely remember that we actually went to school but it was mostly spent playing games (tug of war and things like that). Well, that was eons ago, so maybe we actually got a day off. One thing about our national holiday that was really unfair I think was that if it fell on a Sunday, we didn't get to take the Monday off. Again, that's what I remember, sort of.

    The turtle (war)ship is a huge deal in Korean history. It was supposed to have been instrumental in keeping the Japanese from conquering Korea in the 16th century. We were taught that the design was ingenuous because of some of the features (for war). Like everything else we were taught in history classes, there may have been some elements of exaggeration, but the model in the picture looks pretty neat.

    Have a good trip.